Sep 8, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) motions to the sidelines during the first quarter of the game against the New York Giants at AT

Just the Facts: Dallas Cowboys Bye Week

According to Bill Simmons, the term “bye” was created by basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain and entertainment legend Bob Hope. Wilt Chamberlain went on Bob Hope’s variety show in 1957 during the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Chamberlain said, “We’re not playing this round; they told us to go bye.” Hope responded, “I guess you could call it a first-round bye!”

Bye weeks in the NFL were invented to stretch the 16-game season and four rounds of postseason play out over a span of 22 weeks to increase television revenues since the NFL had a multi-billion dollar deal in place with CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN, and TNT. This is also why an additional wildcard game was added to the AFC and NFC playoffs. In 1993, the last year of the TV contract, two additional bye weeks were added.

The 1993 double-bye concept failed. TV ratings declined and teams complained that they couldn’t get any momentum since the average time between byes was 4 weeks. Here is a list of who had bye weeks and when:

Weeks 3 & 7 – NY Jets, Buffalo, Miami, Indianapolis, Chicago, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Minnesota.

Weeks 4 & 8 – Dallas, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Kansas City, LA Raiders, San Diego

Weeks 5 & 9 – Pittsburgh, Houston, Cincinnati, Cleveland

Weeks 5 & 11 – New England

Weeks 5 & 12 – Phoenix

Weeks 6 & 10 – San Francisco, LA Rams, Atlanta, New Orleans

Weeks 6 & 11 – Detroit

Weeks 6 & 12 – Seattle

Oct 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton (69) pressures Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) during the third quarter at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have played at home preceding a bye 14 times: 1990-94, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2005-07, 2011-12.

The Dallas Cowboys have gone on to play on the road following their bye week 16/25 times: 1991-95, 1998, 2000, 2002-03, 2005-08, 2011-13.

The Dallas Cowboys have faced a divisional opponent 9 times preceding a bye week: 1992-93, 1996-97, 2001, 2003-04, 2006, 2008.

The Dallas Cowboys have faced a divisional opponent 13 times after a bye week 1990, 1992-94, 1996, 1998-01, 2004-05, 2007-08.

From 1990-12, the Dallas Cowboys have had a bye in between road games 6/23 times: 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2008. Here are the results:

 

1995: W-W

1998: W-W

2000: W-L

2002: L-L

2003: W-W

2008: L-W

 

Since the bye week’s institution in 1990, the Dallas Cowboys have had three November bye weeks: 2002, 2005, 2008. The Cowboys have always gone on the road after the November bye, and are 2-1. Here is the Cowboys’ breakdown of bye weeks by month, including years and records after the bye:

September – 6-1 – 1992-94, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2006

October – 7-6 – 1991, 1993, 1995-96, 1998, 2000-01, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010-12

November – 2-1 – 2002, 2005, 2008

December – 1-0 – 1990

Overall, the Dallas Cowboys are 18-7 in games preceding their bye week. Here is how they compare to their NFC East rivals through Week 10 of 2013:

New York: 19-6

Dallas: 18-7

Washington: 11-14

Philadelphia: 10-14

 

In games after their bye, the Dallas Cowboys are 16-8. Here is how they fare against the rest of the NFC East:

Philadelphia: 19-5

Dallas: 16-8

Washington: 12-13

New York: 10-15

 

The Dallas Cowboys have faced the Lions, Cardinals, and the Redskins thrice before the bye, the most for any opponent. Here is a look at the rest of the Cowboys’ opponents, including records:

Arizona: 3-0

Washington: 3-0

Philadelphia: 2-0

San Francisco: 1-0

Atlanta: 1-0

Carolina: 1-0

Houston: 1-0

Kansas City: 1-0

San Diego: 1-0

Cincinnati: 1-0

Minnesota: 1-0

NY Giants: 1-1

New Orleans: 1-1

Chicago: 0-2

Detroit: 0-3

Nov 11, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) passes the ball as he is hit by Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have faced the Philadelphia Eagles five times after the bye, the most for any opponent. Here is a look at the rest of the Cowboys’ opponents, including records:

Philadelphia: 4-1

Arizona: 4-0

Washington: 2-0

Atlanta: 2-0

Green Bay: 1-0

NY Jets: 1-0

Chicago: 1-0

Tennessee: 1-1

Detroit: 0-1

Indianapolis: 0-1

New England: 0-1

Baltimore: 0-1

NY Giants: 0-2

 

The Dallas Cowboys are 8-1 against divisional opponents before the bye week.

The Dallas Cowboys are 10-3 against divisional opponents after the bye week.

The longest winning streak of pre-bye games in the NFC East is 6 games set by the New York Giants from 1990-94. Remember: 1993 had 2 bye weeks.

The longest winning streak of post-bye games in the NFC East is 13 games set by the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-11.

The longest losing streak of pre-bye games in the NFC East is 5 games, tied two separate times by the Cardinals (1990-94) and the Redskins (2006-10).

The longest losing streak of post-bye games in the NFC East is 5 games, tied three separate times by New York (1991-94; 2001-05) and Washington (1992-95).

Since the bye week’s 1990 inception, the NFC East is 26-27 when the Dallas Cowboys are on a bye. Here are the results broken down by team:

New York Giants: 10-6

Arizona Cardinals: 4-3

Washington Redskins: 7-9

Philadelphia Eagles: 5-9

 

Here are the results broken down annually:

1990: 3-1

1991: 1-0

1993: 0-2

1994: 0-1

1995: 1-0

1997: 0-1

1999: 1-3

2000: 3-1

2001: 3-1

2002: 1-2

2003: 1-1

2004: 2-1

2005: 2-1

2006: 2-1

2007: 2-1

2008: 1-2

2009: 0-3

2010: 2-1

2011: 0-2

2012: 1-2

 

In 1992, 1996, and 1998, the entire NFC East shared the same bye week.

Sep 9, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (86) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher (24) and Eagles middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans (59) in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Eagles won 33-27. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

During the Dallas Cowboys’ bye week, the NFC East has had intra-divisional matchups six times since 1990:

2000 – Redskins-Eagles – 17-14 Redskins

2001 – Eagles-Giants – 10-9 Eagles

2003 – Giants-Redskins – 24-21 Giants-OT

2005 – Eagles-Redskins – 17-10 Redskins

2008 – Giants-Eagles – 36-31 Giants

2010 – Redskins-Eagles – 17-12 Redskins

 

When the Eagles and Redskins play each other during the Dallas Cowboys’ bye week, the Redskins are 3-0.

Here is a look at the Dallas Cowboys’ pre-bye TV commentator pairings and TV networks:

1990 – CBS: James Brown and Randy Cross

1991 – NBC: Mel Proctor and Joe Namath

1992 – CBS: Dick Stockton and Randy Cross

1993 – TNT: Gary Bender and Pat Haden

1993 – CBS: Pat Summerall and John Madden

1994 – ABC: Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, and Dan Dierdorf

1995 – FOX: Pat Summerall and John Madden

1996 – FOX: Pat Summerall and John Madden

1997 – FOX: Pat Summerall and John Madden

1998 – FOX: Pat Summerall and John Madden

1999 – ABC: Al Michaels and Boomer Esiason

2000 – FOX: Kenny Albert and Tim Green

2001 – ABC: Al Michaels, Dan Fouts, and Dennis Miller

2002 – FOX: Pat Summerall and John Madden

2003 – ABC: Al Michaels and John Madden

2004 – ABC: Al Michaels and John Madden

2005 – FOX: Matt Vasgersian and Brian Baldinger

2006 – NBC: Al Michaels and John Madden

2007 – FOX: Dick Stockton and Troy Aikman

2008 – FOX: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman

2009 – FOX: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman

2010 – FOX: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman

2011 – FOX: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman

2012 – ESPN: Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden

2013 – NBC: Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth

 

Here is a look at the Dallas Cowboys’ post-bye TV commentator pairings and TV networks:

1990 – CBS: James Brown and Randy Cross

1991 – CBS: Verne Lundquist and Dan Fouts

1992 – ABC: Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, and Dan Dierdorf

1993 – CBS: Verne Lundquist and Dan Fouts

1993 – CBS: Jim Nantz and Randy Cross

1994 – FOX: Dick Stockton and Matt Millen

1995 – FOX: Pat Summerall and John Madden

1996 – FOX: Pat Summerall and John Madden

1997 – FOX: Pat Summerall and John Madden

1998 – ABC: Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, and Boomer Esiason

1999 – FOX: Pat Summerall and John Madden

2000 – FOX: Dick Stockton and Matt Millen

2001 – FOX: Ray Bentley and Jeff Lageman

2002 – FOX: Pat Summerall and Brian Baldinger

2003 – FOX: Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa

2004 – FOX: Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa

2005 – ABC: Al Michaels and John Madden

2006 – FOX: Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa

2007 – NBC: Al Michaels and John Madden

2008 – NBC: Al Michaels and John Madden

2009 – FOX: Thom Brenneman and Troy Aikman

2010 – CBS: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms

2011 – FOX: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman

2012 – FOX: Thom Brenneman and Brian Billick

Nov 10, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett prior to a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Garrett is 0-3 before the bye week. Here is how he compares to other Dallas Cowboys coaches:

Jimmy Johnson: 5-0

Bill Parcells: 4-0

Barry Switzer: 3-1

Wade Phillips: 3-1

Dave Campo: 2-1

Chan Gailey: 1-1

Jason Garrett: 0-3

 

Here is how Jason Garrett compares to all head coaches in the NFC East since 1990:

Tom Coughlin: 7-3

Jimmy Johnson: 5-0

Bill Parcells: 5-0

Dan Reeves: 4-1

Jim Fassel: 5-2

Joe Gibbs: 5-2

Barry Switzer: 3-1

Wade Phillips: 3-1

Ray Handley: 2-0

Marty Schottenheimer: 1-0

Dave McGinnis: 1-0

Dave Campo: 2-1

Rich Kotite: 2-2

Ray Rhodes: 2-2

Mike Shanahan: 2-2

Chan Gailey: 1-1

Andy Reid: 6-8

Norv Turner: 3-4

Buddy Ryan: 1-2

Vince Tobin: 1-3

Steve Spurrier: 0-2

Jim Zorn: 0-2

Richie Petitbon: 0-2

Jason Garrett: 0-3

Joe Bugel: 0-4

 

Jason Garrett is 0-2 after the bye week. Here is how he compares to other Dallas Cowboys coaches:

Barry Switzer: 4-0

Bill Parcells: 3-1

Wade Phillips: 3-1

Jimmy Johnson: 3-2

Chan Gailey: 2-0

Dave Campo: 1-2

Jason Garrett: 0-2

 

Here is how Jason Garrett compares to all head coaches in the NFC East since 1990:

Andy Reid: 13-1

Tom Coughlin: 7-3

Barry Switzer: 4-0

Bill Parcells: 4-1

Norv Turner: 5-2

Buddy Ryan: 3-0

Wade Phillips: 3-1

Chan Gailey: 2-0

Marty Schottenheimer: 1-0

Jimmy Johnson: 3-2

Rich Kotite: 3-2

Joe Gibbs: 4-3

Joe Bugel: 2-2

Vince Tobin: 2-2

Ray Rhodes: 2-2

Steve Spurrier: 1-1

Dave Campo: 1-2

Mike Shanahan: 1-3

Dan Reeves: 1-4

Jim Fassel: 1-6

Dave McGinnis: 0-1

Jason Garrett: 0-2

Richie Petitbon: 0-2

Jim Zorn: 0-2

Ray Handley: 0-2

 

Here are the bye week records of present NFC East coaches with their past stops included for an absolute bye record:

Chip Kelly – pre-bye: 6-0; post-bye: 6-0

Tom Coughlin – pre-bye: 12-6; post-bye: 12-6

Mike Shanahan – pre-bye: 10-8; post-bye: 11-7

Jul 21, 2013; Oxnard, CA, USA; Statue of Dallas Cowboys former coach Tom Landry at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The bye week was instituted two seasons after Jerry Jones fired Tom Landry, so the inaugural Cowboys coach never experienced a mid-season bye. However, the Cowboys did qualify for three playoff byes during his 29-year tenure. The league established first round byes in 1978 with the addition of the wildcard game. Dallas qualified for a bye in ’78, ’79, and ’81. The Dallas Cowboys went 2-1, with the eventual 1979 NFC Champion L.A. Rams handing them that loss.

Tony Romo is 3-3 before the bye. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys quarterbacks:

Troy Aikman: 10-1

Drew Bledsoe: 2-0

Anthony Wright: 1-0

Quincy Carter: 1-0

Tony Romo: 3-3

Vinny Testaverde: 1-0

Jason Garrett: 0-1

ChadHutchinson: 0-1

Brad Johnson: 0-1

 

Tony Romo is 3-3 after the bye. Here is how he compares to other Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks:

Troy Aikman: 9-3

Drew Bledsoe: 2-0

Clint Stoerner: 1-0

Quincy Carter: 1-0

Tony Romo: 3-3

ChadHutchinson: 0-1

Vinny Testaverde: 0-1

 

This is the third consecutive season the Cowboys will play a road game after the bye week. The Cowboys’ longest streak is four seasons from 2004-08.

With help from PredictEm.com, teams coming off of byes, including playoff byes, are 422-373-3 from 1990 through Week 10 of 2013.

Also with help from PredictEm.com, here is a list of all active franchises coming off of bye weeks, including playoff byes, updated through Week 10 of 2013:

Arizona: 11-13

Atlanta: 16-11

Baltimore: 14-12

Buffalo: 15-10

Carolina: 8-12

Chicago: 19-9

Cincinnati: 7-16-1

Cleveland: 7-7

Dallas: 18-11

Denver: 20-7

Detroit: 13-14

Green Bay: 20-9

Houston: 4-9

Indianapolis: 16-10

Jacksonville: 12-9

Kansas City: 12-14

Miami: 14-11

Minnesota: 16-9

New England: 16-10

New Orleans: 14-12

NY Giants: 12-15

NY Jets: 13-13

Oakland: 10-16

Philadelphia: 20-5

Pittsburgh: 16-11

St. Louis: 12-12-1

San Diego: 11-13

San Francisco: 10-15-1

Seattle: 7-19

TampaBay: 11-13

Tennessee: 15-12

Washington: 13-14

 

Here is a list of how Super Bowl winners since 1990 fared before and after bye weeks:

1990 New York Giants: W-W

1991 Washington Redskins: W-W

1992 Dallas Cowboys: W-L

1993 Dallas Cowboys: W-W; W-W

1994 San Francisco 49ers: W-W

1995 Dallas Cowboys: W-W

1996 Green Bay Packers: W-W

1997 Denver Broncos: W-L

1998 Denver Broncos: W-W

1999 St. Louis Rams: W-W

2000 Baltimore Ravens: W-W

2001 New England Patriots: W-W

2002 TampaBay Buccaneers: W-W

2003 New England Patriots: W-W

2004 New England Patriots: W-W

2005 Pittsburgh Steelers: L-W

2006 Indianapolis Colts: W-W

2007 New York Giants: W-L

2008 Pittsburgh Steelers: W-W

2009 New Orleans Saints: W-W

2010 Green Bay Packers: W-W

2011 New York Giants: W-W

2012 Baltimore Ravens: L-W

 

The Dallas Cowboys are not playing on Thursday, Sunday, or Monday this week. Here is a list of Dallas Cowboys birthdays that will not be celebrated:

 

Thursday:

Rod Harris, WR, 1990 – 11/14/66

Junior Siavii, DT, 2009 – 11/14/78

Ben Noll, G, 2004-05 – 11/14/81

Kyle Orton, QB, 2012-present – 11/14/82

 

Sunday:

Bobby Joe Conrad, WR, 1969 – 11/17/35
Ken Frost, DT, 1961-1962 – 11/17/38

 

Monday:

Glenn Carano, QB, 1978-83 – 11/18/55

Buzz Sawyer, P, 1987 – 11/18/62

Raghib Ismail, WR – 11/18/69

 

Here is the Dallas Cowboys’ only death:
Amos Marsh, RB, 1961-64 – 11/17/92

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